Science provides the foundation for understanding the world around us. It can not only teach pupils about the world they live in, but also how to study it and make sense of various phenomena. As such, it is a fundamental aspect of all children’s learning.
At Giffard Park Primary School, we aim to provide skills to develop an understanding of the world around us. We equip pupils with a solid knowledge of concepts, promoting an enquiry-based approach.
When children finish their journey through Giffard Park Primary they will be able to:
- Ask and answer scientific questions
- Plan and carry out scientific investigations, using equipment correctly and safely
- Evaluate their evidence, present their conclusions clearly and accurately
- Actively explore their indoor and outdoor environment
- Understand the life processes of living things
- Understand the physical processes of materials, light, sound, electricity, and natural forces
- Understand about the solar system, including the Earth
During the Autumn term, as part of their season’s topic, the Year 1 children went on an autumnal walk, where they collected leaves and sticks. They then created a self-portrait using those objects in groups.
During the Spring term, the Year 1 children also enjoyed a theme day to conclude their Arctic topic. The children loved their blubber experiment. This allowed them to see why animals in the Arctic can stay warm in the freezing cold ice!
Children always enjoy exploring different materials and finding these in our school environment. Year 2 planned and performed tests to find out which material would be best for The Queen's Knickers (based on the story book).
During the Spring term, Year 3 were learning about plants. They learnt:
- Parts of a plant
- Needs of a plant
- The water cycle
At the end of the topic, the children researched a few flowers and the different conditions they thrived in. After looking at research the children then designed a garden, putting the respective flowers in the correct places for what they needed to survive. The gardens they designed were amazing!
During their sound unit, the children designed and made their own musical instruments and tested different materials to soundproof a music studio.
Whilst learning about animals including humans, they re-created the human digestive system in the classroom using sandwich bags, tights, cups and plates. They also investigated how different liquids (coke, vinegar, milk, water) affect tooth decay by leaving eggs in them for over a week.
Whilst learning about materials and their properties, the Year 5 children enjoyed investigating different materials. They had to decide how to separate different mixtures based on the material’s different properties, for example, we learnt that magnets were suitable to separate the rice and paperclips because paperclips are magnetic.
During Year 5’s Living Things topic, the children learnt about sexual and asexual reproduction in plants. They discussed the differences between the two reproductions and tested out asexual reproduction. They took cuttings from an ivy plant and put them into water. Over several weeks, the children watched new roots develop.
One of the investigations that Year 6 took part in that particularly captured the children’s interest is the investigation into the best conditions for growing yeast and mould. As part of their investigative work, the children were encouraged to make and explain predictions as well as record and display their results appropriately.
British Science Week takes place every March and in Year 6 the children enjoyed taking part in activities that inspire a scientific mind. This year the children enjoyed a challenge that involved designing and making plasticine boats that needed to hold as many marbles as possible, growing salt and sugar crystals and creating a frothing volcano.
During their light topic, the children enjoyed investigating light and particularly enjoyed using prisms to investigate refraction.
At Giffard Park Primary, we have launched a team of Eco-Warriors. Each class in Year 3-6 has an Eco Warrior. Our Eco Warriors applied for this role and are dedicated to making positive environmental changes to our school. We were lucky to be asked by Milton Keynes Council to take part in their new Eco Warriors scheme. Eco Warriors is a scheme that focuses on educating and encouraging school children within Milton Keynes on the importance of being environmentally friendly. This scheme increases personal awareness of positive habits and lifestyle choices that students can make within and outside of the school premises to adapt and live more sustainable and green lives directly through a series of user-friendly tasks for each season/term of the year.
Refill Scheme: Schools' Poster Competition
During the Autumn term, our Eco Warriors were keen to take part in the MK Refill Scheme poster competition. The Eco Warriors launched the competition in an assembly and outlined the dangers of using single-use plastic bottles. Many children across the school entered the competition outlining the benefits of using refillable bottles in MK. Some of the brilliant entries were shortlisted and some of these winners were invited to attend an awards ceremony at MK library with the mayor of Milton Keynes.
Some of the shortlisted entries with their posters.
Jessica (Year 6) won the overall Primary category!
Our Eco-Warriors are dedicated to keeping our school a clean and safe place for everyone. We noticed that there was a lot of unwanted rubbish was building up on our playgrounds, so we launched the ‘Litter Legends’. Our Eco Warriors become Litter Legends at lunchtimes. On a rota, they use our special litter equipment to clear our playgrounds to ensure we can all use these spaces litter free. The Litter Legends have also led assemblies to make everybody aware of the dangers of littering.